MY FITNESS JOURNEY SO FAR / by Angela See

One of the most frustrating trends in online media is the collection of "health and fitness" videos/tips from beauty and fashion gurus. That's not to say people can't or shouldn't post what they've done and what has worked for them, but this idea that there's this need to incorporate fitness, health, and especially dieting into beauty is so frustrating.

I first gained interest in fitness because of this idea that people "needed" to slim down and tone up in order to look good in clothes. High school, in retrospect, was a super weird time for me and my self-esteem as it is for most people. People made weird, rude, and unnecessary comments about the way people looked all the time. People were too skinny, too fat, women were "ok"  or just straight up "ugly" because of something minuscule like their arms were "too lanky" as if the human population had decided the correct arm measurements in the beginning of time, and GOD FORBID are those, like, TWO PIMPLES THAT SHE GAINED AS A NATURAL SIDE EFFECT TO PUBERTY??? Ugh, what is WRONG with SOME PEOPLE--I think I've made my point. 

So I started to "work out" around my freshman year of high school. I have a small frame, naturally, but that wasn't enough for me. I was insanely insecure about my body, and I distinctly remember hugging one of my so-called male friend and him immediately saying, "Wow, you look small but you feel really fat. My girlfriend doesn't feel this way. That's surprising", and, well FIRST OF ALL, why is this little 14 year-old boy anticipating the way I "should" feel, and what made him think it was okay to compare me to his girlfriend? That's a whole other story, but the point is, I wasn't able to rationalize his actions as easily when I was 14 years old, so I took it at face value. I was a LIE, I looked skinny but I wasn't good enough because I didn't physically feel skinny, so then I emotionally felt fat. 

I continued to work out, but obsessed with the idea of looking a certain way. I became hyper-aware of how other girls looks--how other girl's bodies looked, which clearly wasn't healthy, but unfortunately was a common insecurity for a lot of people. It wasn't until my senior year of high-school where I was privileged enough to take classes that a) explored the different sociological patterns that explain why certain ideals exist (i.e. the ideal body, family, relationship, etc.), and b) a personal fitness class where I was introduced to proper fitness training and nutrition. 

Some food I made for myself one day lol

Some food I made for myself one day lol

This is where everything changed and I truly started to appreciate education. Knowing why I was feeling so insecure played a big part in getting over those body image insecurities, and learning how to properly and effectively exercise helped me move forward. Knowledge is truly power, and I felt that wholeheartedly when I noticed that I stopped comparing myself to others so often. However, achieving and practicing this new mindset was only the tip of the iceberg.

Yes, I started working out more frequently and with ease, and yes, I started eating healthier, and I did this consistently for a few years until life got in the way. I had to deal with a lot of personal issues that required all of my attention--a lot more than I would have liked to give, and I had A LOT less time to work out. I saw myself lose a lot of progress I've made over the years in the span of months, and that was really disheartening. My loss of progress was so disheartening that I felt myself slipping back into that mindset I had when I was 14 years old at 20--almost as if my physical progress was the only thing that validated me--not the fact that I was still a lot stronger than before, not the amount of things I've learned up to this point. Needless to say, it was a very confusing time. 

Now, after months of therapy and taking time to rediscover myself, a few things I've been big on is loving my body no matter what state its in, and continuing to think critically about the physiological aspects that I'm dealing with when it comes to my own person health and fitness by using the classes I take as educational supplements.

Now, I finally feel okay enough to work towards a goal bigger than myself. My goal, as a professional, is to be able teach other people about how their bodies work and what they can do to live an overall healthier lifestyle. I want to emphasize the idea that "healthy" isn't routinely going to the gym, doing the same, monotonously structured routine 3 days a week and eating nothing but lean protein, vegetables, and fruit, fitting in size XS clothing, and having visible abs.

Being "healthy" is multifaceted, it is dynamic, and the consistency of one's health is always naturally going to fluctuate because there are so many other factors that play into what our individual bodies our capable of and whether people have the means to gain access to tools to lead a healthier life.

My website is going to be my main tool for sharing information I've been privileged enough to immerse myself in academically as well as bits of my own journey as leader in the health industry. My goals as a growing leader in fitness and health is to put out useful information that can help individuals feel more confident about themselves no matter what their starting point is. I hope you'll find my future content interesting and useful!! 

- Angela